The command staff of the Syrian armed forces agreed to unilaterally cease fire in the Idlib governorate, where an eponymous de-escalation zone is located, a military spokesman said in a statement released by the SANA news agency on Saturday.

“The Syrian army will cease the fire in the northern de-escalation zone starting from 06.00 on Saturday, but reserves the right to respond to any ceasefire violation on behalf of the terrorists,” the spokesman said.

Idlib is Syria’s only large region which remains under the control of illegal armed groups. In 2017, the northern de-escalation zone was created there, where members of criminal groups who refused to lay down arms and their family members could move to.

The Syrian armed forces already declared a unilateral ceasefire in Idlib on August 2, but militants violated the truce on the same day. On August 5, government troops were forced to resume military operations in the area.

On Friday, the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria urged commanders of armed groups in the zone Idlib to refrain from armed provocations and join the process of peace settlement in the areas under their control.

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